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Customizable Hardware Platform Speeds up Design of Distributed Motion Control

Tue, 11/23/2010 - 10:25am
STMicroelectronics today announced an industry first with the unveiling of a customizable high-end motor-control module that is small enough to mount directly on the motor, in addition to providing connection via industrial Ethernet. The new module will enable faster delivery of elegant cost-effective industrial solutions such as multi-axis robotics, conveyors, packaging machines, and process automation equipment.

The SPIMD20 can drive brushless 3-phase motors up to 2kW, and is ideal for various industrial applications. Developed in conjunction with motion-control specialist Robox, the module combines ST's reliable high-performance semiconductor technologies, including 1200V/40A IGBT power switches and the TD352 - gate driver. Two STM32 microcontrollers provide a powerful processing engine for motor control and networking functions. A real-time communication interface supporting protocols such as EtherCAT® and CANopen® DS402 is provided. Basic firmware supporting network connectivity and featuring PWM driving, current loop and speed-loop execution synchronized to the fieldbus is also available.

The module supports full customization of firmware and logic, allowing designers to full control over the motor-control algorithm and type of Ethernet fieldbus. By eliminating the project overhead of bringing up a custom drive, ST's SPIMD20 provides a hardware platform enabling a fast start to new projects. By mounting the 165 x 60 x 26mm module on the motor, designers can distribute control for multiple motors. This saves centralizing logic and power functions in a rack, thereby reducing cabling, simplifying installation, promoting scalability and delivering advantages in the field such as enhanced reliability and easier maintenance.

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